Unfortunately there are some dodgy operators out there, and as outlined in the accompanying video presented by Emma, our Principal Migration Agent, we help you sort the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’…
Let’s start by explaining what we mean by a ‘Registered Migration Agent’. A Registered Migration Agent is someone who is legally allowed to give immigration and visa advice in Australia. Their qualifications have been approved by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), and they have been given a listed number.
Well, the best way to do this is to follow the link to the MARA website. Find the ‘I want to….’ heading and click on ‘Find an Agent’ directly underneath this. Use the tabs and type the name or MARA number(also known as MARN) of the agent who is giving you advice. Here, you can ensure the agent is registered and has not been legally barred from giving migration advice. The page also provides a list of ALL of the people in Australia who are Registered Migration Agents.
It is a good idea to make sure the person who is giving you migration advice is in fact who they say they are. Unfortunately, there have been cases where fake agents have used another agent’s MARA number to give the impression they are registered. Be aware of this and confirm your agent’s MARA registered number, name and photograph as shown on the website (you can view the Freedom Migration Team’s profiles here) all match up with their details. After all, this is your future, your money and you do not want to be wasting it on a dodgy person who falsely claims to be a Registered Migration Agent.
The whole process may be made more difficult for you if you use the services of someone who is not qualified as a Registered Migration Agent under Australian law.
For instance, using the services of someone outside of Australia who has not complied with the rules or requirements of the Department of Home Affairs to become an accredited migration agent might put your application ‘at risk’.
Making use of a Registered Migration Agent protects you, the consumer, as there are certain rules we Registered Migration Agents have to adhere to. For example, if we haven’t complied with these rules as migration agents registered in Australia, we will face strict disciplinary action from the Authority. So, it is SUPER important if you are going to use a ‘registered’ migration agent, to ensure your agent REALLY is a Registered Migration Agent.
And as mentioned before, the best way to check the credentials of your agent is to go to the MARA website.
Firstly, all ‘good’, totally ‘legit’ agents will be registered and have a MARA number displayed on all their advertising. You can double-check their registration as discussed.
Secondly, we’d advise you to check out the public reviews of your agent’s services on their Facebook or other social media pages. You can also Google your agent’s business name to see what others have thought of their services. Any agent who ‘guarantees’ an outcome or advertises a success rate(i.e. 99% success) , steer away as by law it’s illegal to provide a guaranteed outcome or advertise a success rate.
Lastly, a good tip is to look for an agent who specializes in the specific visa type you want to apply for. Being specialists in their field, they will probably have a lot of experience and be able to offer you your best chance at having your visa granted.
As always, we appreciate your comments and feedback. Don’t forget to leave them in the comments below!
IMPORTANT: Please note, this does not constitute Immigration advice. Always seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent before applying for an Australian Visa. Migration Law is constantly changing. This information is accurate only at the time of publication.
Emma is the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. She is extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because she's a product of a partner visa family.
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